New Sawdust Festival mural depicts pollution’s effects on the ocean

Visitors to this year’s Sawdust Art & Craft Festival may see a mural depicting the effects of pollution on the ocean and marine life as they enter the grounds at 935 Laguna Canyon Road.

“Message in a Bottle” is a collaboration between street artist Bandit and producer Adam Casper, and shows multiple bottles as references to SOS messages, according to a news release.

Each bottle contains different forms of marine life and symptoms of human pollution such as discarded plastic bottles, fishing nets and equipment, and plastic bags.
The last bottle depicts two kids playing while building a sandcastle that’s made of plastic bottles and other detritus.

“As this installation suggests, we all are responsible for many of our own pollution problems,” the news release said.

“Message in a Bottle,” which combines stencils, aerosol and hand painting, occupies the same space on a wall facing Laguna Canyon Road as did Rolland Berry’s mural titled “Headdress” a year ago, according to a May 10 letter from Sawdust board member Michael Thorstensen to the Arts Commission.

The Sawdust board of directors recommended “Message in a Bottle” to the city’s Arts Commission, which approved the temporary work earlier this year. 

Bandit did the work off-site and installed the panels during three nights, Thorstensen said in a phone interview.

“This is a team effort,” Thorstensen said, adding that Bandit and Casper, a Laguna Beach resident, donated the work to the Sawdust. “I’m excited about it and hope to do this on an annual basis.”

The “Headdress” mural will be repurposed and relocated to within the festival grounds near GG’s Café, Thorstensen’s letter said.





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